Mini Clubbin’ it!

Mini Car Club of Tasmania

I got the opportunity to “…get yer skates on mate!” with The Mini Car Club of Tasmania last Sunday on one of their organised club runs – a leisurely (*cough) drive down the Channel and around through to Huonville. Invited along by club Secretary Casey, I was really looking forward to it. Only thing is, I don’t own a Mini …did I need one? Turns out not, as the club welcomes all four and two wheeled enthusiasts!

Couldn’t have asked for better weather on the day too – a crisp Autumn blue sky with a hint of ‘old car smell’ and petrol lingering in the air made for a great turn out of vehicles. Classic Mini’s, modern Mini’s, Clubmans (my favourite!), a cracker of an E30 BMW (also a favourite), a Datsun 1600, Pete’s beaut Yamaha and various others …all coming along for the drive!

As I was taking photos on this meet, I initially got to be a passenger in Caseys’ GP2 Mini …but then had the opportunity to jump into Daniel Willsons’ Morris Cooper S while he gave it the beans along Nicholls Rivulet Road …which …was …BRILLIANT! Got to admit that trying to snap some shots while being skipped around corners was darn tricky, so instead I put my camera down and just enjoyed the experience – Webers for the win!

The drive finished up in Huonville, where everyone ‘caught up’ for a chat, a cuppa and some breakfast (generously hosted by the Price family). I have to say that the vibe surrounding the meet was very welcoming, lots of folks willing to share their many (or maybe that should be Mini?) car tales. As always, I found a favourite for the day – Yvonne’s lovely 1969 Morris Cooper S in Daffodil Yellow (and yes, that really is a proper Mini colour), soooo nice!

If you’re interested in finding out about your local car clubs a quick internet search is guaranteed to point you in the right direction – based on my positive experience from the weekend, I highly recommend it!

The MINI

1964 Mk1 Mini Cooper S

I always enjoy hanging out at Princes Wharf No.1 in Hobart, even more so when it’s filled with motors. Held this weekend (in support of the Baskerville Foundation), the Motorsport Expo & Racing Car Show promised race cars and trade stalls, so I was keen to see what would be on display. It turned out there was quite a variety – Ford Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts, the absolute bees knees of a Mk1 Lotus Cortina (in Monaco Red… Monaco Red!), Holdens, Celicas, Jags, Morris, MG’s, the list goes on! All the cars looked great, but there was one in particular that gobsmacked me.

It was a 1964 Mk1 Mini Cooper S, raced in the 1980’s by Tasmanian Mini racing legend the late Chris ‘Kit’ Ellis. The car was one of the first Appendix J race cars in Tasmania but actually only had a short race life (being written off during a club event in ’83). Instead of being scraped, the Mini had been stored away until 2013 when a full restoration began… and what a restoration! The detail was on show for all to see and appreciate. Fantastic!

Coincidentally, it so happens that Mini turns 56 years young on the 26th August …so, thank-you Mr. Alec Issigonis. Thank-you very much.